Connecting and supporting Minnesota’s creative community of independent musicians.

“A painter paints pictures on canvas. But musicians paint their pictures on silence.”

- Leopold Stokowski

Upcoming Events:

MMC Calendar

posted on Mon, Mar 24 2014 3:55 pm by MN Music Coalition

2014 Annual MN Music Summit (St. Paul)

4/10/14 - 4/12/14

A 3-day festival for artists, fans & music geeks, featuring artist workshops, mentoring sessions, industry panels, networking events, a keynote address by Casey Rae of from the DC-based Future of Music Coalition and concerts by GRRRL PRTY, The Honeydogs, Southwire and more!


2014 MN Music Summit

We are proud to announce the third annual MN Music Summit will take place April 10-12 in downtown St. Paul and will feature performances by hot new hip hop stars GRRRL PRTY, Twin Cities veteran rockers The Honeydogs and Duluth breakout band Southwire. In addition, this 3-day festival will include workshops, industry panels, mentoring sessions and social networking opportunities for artists, fans and local music movers and shakers. Expanding on last year's highly successful event, this year's Summit will include a keynote address Casey Rae of the Future of Music Coalition, a DC-based nonprofit that advocates for laws and public policy that positively affect musicians. Partnering with the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival and American Composers Forum, the Summit will also include workshops on music placement and composing for film. Thanks to the support of the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, St. Paul Cultural STAR, Summit Brewing, McNally Smith College of Music, Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Minnesota Public Radio and the ongoing support of the McKnight Foundation, daytime events are free and all events are all ages.
View the full schedule here.
The 2014 MN Music Summit is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. The MN Music Summit is also supported by the St. Paul Cultural STAR with ongoing support of the McKnight Foundation.

1/11 Benefit w/Astronautalis & Sims

posted on Mon, Dec 30 2013 11:21 am by MN Music Coalition

Astronautalis & Sims Benefit Concert at The Garage (Burnsville)

Sat 1/11/13, 6:00 pm

The MMC is proud to be a sponsor of a special all-ages benefit for To the Bridge Foundation. Featuring performances by local hip hop favorites Astronautalis and Sims, the concert will take place on Saturday, January 11th at 6 pm at The Garage in Burnsville, MN. It will be the 3rd annual benefit concert held to honor Chaska native Tony Dolski who lost his life on August 9, 2011 and raise money to support To the Bridge Foundation's work to support those struggling with chemical dependency and help them create bridges to the next stages of their lives. More information and tickets available here.

Workshop Wednesdays

posted on Mon, Dec 30 2013 11:53 am by MN Music Coalition

Health Insurance for MN Musicians: How to Navigate MNsure

at Springboard for the Arts (308 Prince Street, St. Paul)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Open Info Session: 6:30-7:30 pm

Personalized Assistance: 6:30-8:30 pm (by appointment only)

MMC teams up with Springboard for the Arts to help musicians looking at enrolling in insurance through MNsure. Drop in to the Springboard for the Arts offices any time from 6:30-7:30pm to get your MNsure questions answered and watch Springboard's new MNsure video series. A limited number of appointments are also available from 6:30-8:30pm for those who would like assistance creating a MNsure account and filling out an application for health insurance coverage.

The event is free and open to all ages. Please RSVP to Nikki Hunt at and include whether you'd like an appointment for personalized application assistance between 6:30-8:30 pm.

MMC's Workshop Wednesdays are held in the Twin Cities the third Wednesday of every month from 6:30-7:30 pm on a variety of professional and creative topics, including publishing, promotions, songwriting, entertainment law, and wellness.

Springboard for the Arts is certified as a MNsure Navigator for Minnesota’s creative workforce. Their role is to provide one-on-one, unbiased information and referrals to help you better understand the requirement for coverage and assist you in gaining that coverage through MNsure. For more information, please visit


Give to the Max for MN Music

Support Minnesota music on Thursday, November 14 as we present special concerts across the state to celebrate Give to the Max Day. You can enjoy live music from local artists like Caroline Smith and join them in supporting the only statewide nonprofit devoted to serving Minnesota's independent musicians. Even if you can't make it to one of these events, we hope you'll be able to make a tax-deductible donation. Any contribution made up until November 14 will help the MMC compete with other nonprofits for additional cash awards - a perfect opportunity to make your gift go further and support our mission to give artists the resources, skills and opportunities to have sustaining careers in music.

We hope you'll take this opportunity to give to the max for Minnesota music!

Caravan du Nord Returns to Greater MN

The Minnesota Music Coalition is proud to announce that they will be presenting the 3rd Annual Caravan du Nord, starting Friday, October 11. A traveling showcase of Minnesota music, the Caravan will bring 15 bands and solo artists to five historic theaters in Greater Minnesota for performances, workshops and community engagement. Fitting in with the MMC's mission to connect and support Minnesota's independent musicians, the Caravan du Nord brings together established regional artists to headline each show, emerging talents just starting to tour and artists local to each community--Austin, St. Cloud, Detroit Lakes, Winona and Red Wing. These three acts perform as part of a unique multi-genre concert, exposing new and local talent to audiences hungry for more live music. In addition to playing the show, the performers also participate in afternoon workshops, joining top industry professionals to teach business and creative skills to local musicians. In between the afternoon workshops and evening concerts, there will be a social hour giving local artists and community members an opportunity to network with the workshop leaders and panelists. Artists headlining this year's Caravan du Nord tour include Billboard-charting indie/folk band The Pines, rising hip hop star Astronautalis, nationally lauded pop band Night Moves, Duluth bluesman Charlie Parr and local rock luminaries The Honeydogs. For a full list of dates, venues and performers, click here.

Sponsored by 89.3 The Current, each stop on the Caravan du Nord will be hosted by a different DJ who will participate in workshops, host the networking events and emcee the concert. The Caravan du Nord is also sponsored by Essential Sessions Studio, who will be filming and recording the events so that online audiences can benefit from these unique programs, celebrating and supporting Minnesota musicians.

MMC Party at Dakota 9/17

The MMC kicks off its fall programs with a free party at the Dakota Jazz Club in downtown Minneapolis on Tuesday, September 17. We'll start with a special social hour from 5-6:30 pm, where you can mingle with musicians and industry professionals over free appetizers. Hosted by BT of K-TWIN Radio, he will talk about the station's commitment to Minnesota music and community causes. Following the social hour at 7 pm, the Dakota presents a "Foodie Night," featuring a special dinner menu and music from local jazz/pop guitar trio Triose.

We hope you and your friends can join us!

Summit Brewing Celebrates Birthday with Backyard Bash Benefit for MMC

Happy crowds at the 2012 Backyard Bash

Tickets are on sale now for Summit Brewing's Backyard Bash on Saturday, September 7 from 12-8 pm! This annual birthday celebration is sponsored by 89.3 The Current and will feature a tasty mix of Minnesota bands, local food trucks and your favorite hometown brew.50% of ticket sales benefit the MMC so we hope you all will come out for this fun day of Minnesota music!

Hosted by The Current's Dave Campbell, the event will feature performances by The New Standards, Haley Bonar (full band), Night Moves, Lizzo (featuring Lazerbeak), Charlie Parr & Friends and the Secret Stash Soul Revue (The Valdons, Sonny Knight, Jackie Harris and Wanda Davis). Hotpants DJs will be spinning deep soul, rare funk vinyl between sets.

2013 MN Music Summit Rocks St. Paul

Harakiri performing at Amsterdam Hall

Thanks to all of you who attended our recent MN Music Summit in St. Paul! A smashing sucess, this 3-day festival featured workshops, one-on-one mentoring sessions with industry professionals and social networking opportunities for artists. The event was capped off by two packed high energy shows at Amsterdam Hall, featuring Caroline Smith & The Good Night Sleeps and Charlie Parr as well as up-and-coming bands Bomba de Luz and Harakiri (pictured here). You can view more photos on our Facebook page. Big thanks to you and all our sponsors who helped make this 2nd annual event such a success--Summit BrewingKFAI RadioMcNally Smith College of MusicAmsterdam Bar & HallInnova and American Composers Forum.

Due to the overwhelming feedback of those who attended the Summit, we are proud to announce we'll be kicking off monthly artist workshops and quarterly networking events for those of you living in the Twin Cities. For the latest, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

MN Music Summit Returns

We are proud to announce the second annual MN Music Summit, taking place June 6-8 in downtown St. Paul. Building on last year's successful inaugural event, the 3-day festival will feature workshops, concerts and social networking opportunities for artists, fans and local industry movers and shakers. Thanks to the support of Summit BreweryMcNally Smith College of MusicAmsterdam Bar & Hall and KFAI Radioall events are open to the public and free of charge.

The MN Music Summit kicks off with a social hour at Summit Brewery on Thursday, June 6 from 6-8 pm. Musicians and fans will have the opportunity to mingle with the region's most important industry VIP's over free food and beer, tapping into the MMC's vast network of music supporters. On Friday, June 7 the Summit continues with publicity workshops at McNally Smith College of Music from 1-4 pm. The MMC's new Executive Director Ellen Stanley will lead a crash course in publicity and radio promotions, and there will be opportunities to sign up for brief one-on-one mentoring sessions with experts in grant-writing, booking and promotion. These workshops will be followed by a 6-7 pm happy hour at Amsterdam Bar,  providing people with more time to network before the doors open at 7 pm for the concert, starring Caroline Smith & The Good Night Sleepstaking place at the Amsterdam's Hall Stage. Following the show, there will be an after-party with music by DJ Hot Pants. The Summit winds up Saturday, June 8 with another afternoon at McNally Smith with workshops focusing on funding opportunities for musicians and information on grant-writing. More mentoring sessions will be available as well.  The 6-7 pm happy hour at Amsterdam will give musicians and fans one final time to network with each other before the the grand finale concert of the weekend, featuring Duluth bluesman Charlie Parr and other special guests. The MMC will also be raffling off special prizes throughout the night and giving an exclusive look at Summit Brewery's big Backyard Bash, coming up on September 7.

Full schedule here.

MMC Hires New Executive Director

We have a new Executive Director! The MMC is pleased to announce the addition of Ellen Stanley, as Executive Director starting April 30, 2013. Currently the Director of Publicity & Promotions at Grammy-winning indie label Red House Records, Ellen Stanley has an international reputation as one of the top music publicists in the country and has been voted one of the "Best in the Industry" by Americana DJ's five years running. She has an extensive background in the music business and has also worked as a fundraiser, festival organizer, radio promoter, booking agent, music writer and A&R rep. For the last ten years, she has produced and hosted Womenfolk, a weekly radio show on KFAI 90.3 FM Minneapolis / 106.7 FM St. Paul. She also performs her own music under the name Mother Banjo.

Read more

Jerome Fund for New Music 2013

Do you make music? (The original, fresh, and not-necessarily-commercially-driven kind?)
Have an ambitious project in mind?
Would up to $8,500 help?
Do you live in MN or NYC?

Read on

MacPhail offers grant opportunities for performing musicians

With the generous support of the McKnight Foundation, MacPhail Center for Music awards fellowships which recognize and provide support for mid-career performing musicians.

If you are a performing musician, MacPhail Center for Music invites you to apply for a McKnight Fellowship for Performing Musicians. MacPhail awards four $25,000 fellowships to outstanding solo musicians or small ensembles. All finalists receive a $1,000 honorarium. For the winners this is considered part of their $25,000 award. Ensembles that are recognized as finalists and/or fellowship recipients will split awards between members; individual ensemble members will not each receive the full award amount. Awards are subject to state and federal income tax guidelines.

Complete info and application are available on the MacPhail Center For Music website.

The Caravan Du Nord 2012 is a wrap

The second-annual Caravan Du Nord brought an incredible roster of Minnesota musicians and bands to eight communities around the state. This year the Minnesota Music Coalition partnered with 89.3 The Current to bring some of the best and upcoming talent to arts venues in greater Minnesota. This year featured Haley Bonar, Mason Jennings, Jeremy Messersmith, Chastity Brown, Halloween, Alaska, Rogue Valley, Caroline Smith and the Goodnight Sleeps, Pert Near Sandstone, 4onthefloor, Charlie Parr, Me & My Arrow, Zoo Animal, Rogue Valley and many more. Each tour stop included afternoon workshops for musicians along with an evening concert. Check out Tapes 'n Tapes in Fergus Falls: